Lordship Salvation (sinfulness)

Man, Sin, & Salvation
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darinhouston
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Lordship Salvation (sinfulness)

Post by darinhouston » Tue Aug 18, 2015 5:52 pm

I'm a proponent of what is commonly referred to as Lordship Salvation. But, I'm wondering how far this can be taken.

What if a man believes himself to be generally "good" and doesn't agree that he's a "sinner" or see any real "need" for a savior, per se. But, after learning of Christ, believes that He is the Son of God, that He came to earth, died on the cross, was resurrected and sits at the right hand of God, the Father, and has the right to rule as King. That he recognizes Christ as his Lord, and seeks to serve Him with all his being and live according to His every command, even unto death...

So, is He saved? Born of the spirit? Eternal life in the hereafter?


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Singalphile
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Re: Lordship Salvation (sinfulness)

Post by Singalphile » Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:34 pm

darinhouston wrote:I'm a proponent of what is commonly referred to as Lordship Salvation. But, I'm wondering how far this can be taken.

What if a man believes himself to be generally "good" and doesn't agree that he's a "sinner" or see any real "need" for a savior, per se. But, after learning of Christ, believes that He is the Son of God, that He came to earth, died on the cross, was resurrected and sits at the right hand of God, the Father, and has the right to rule as King. That he recognizes Christ as his Lord, and seeks to serve Him with all his being and live according to His every command, even unto death...

So, is He saved? Born of the spirit? Eternal life in the hereafter?
Isn't that probably the testimony of a lot of people? I would say that if he or she accepts the things you say after learning of Christ and also seeks to trust and obey Jesus, then that's a saved person, provided that the person affirms that he or she has in fact sinned (1 john 1:8).

Perhaps the person doesn't have a great deal of interest in his own life for his own sake.

Interesting thoughts ... though hypothetical and somewhat vague. :)
... that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. John 5:23

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darinhouston
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Re: Lordship Salvation (sinfulness)

Post by darinhouston » Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:54 pm

I think you may miss the point (why does that keep happening to me?). You seem to affirm the inquiry, but then say provided he affirms he has sinned. That sort of begs the question. I'm supposing he doesn't in fact do so (at least not until he matures in the faith and replaced his ignorance with truth).

Also, I don't see how it's vague.


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dwilkins
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Re: Lordship Salvation (sinfulness)

Post by dwilkins » Tue Aug 18, 2015 9:50 pm

I'll use a specific example that fits fairly close to this as far as I can tell: Peter. He was somewhat successful (the narrative implies he is either the foreman or owner of his ship). He's not particularly educated, but does seem to have a great deal of confidence. As far as I can tell, he's challenged to be a follow and then leader, but never challenged to acknowledge his sin before starting that journey. So, was he saved? Or, more specifically, when is he saved?

Doug

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Homer
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Re: Lordship Salvation (sinfulness)

Post by Homer » Tue Aug 18, 2015 10:10 pm

Hi Darrin,

Could you clarify the following:
and doesn't agree that he's a "sinner" or see any real "need" for a savior, per se.
In your example do you have in mind a person who believes he is not a sinner in the sense that he has never sinned? As I believe, if you have ever sinned once you are a sinner, just as if you have ever murdered you are a murderer.

On the other hand, does the person believe he is not a sinner in the sense that he does not practice sinning?

Thanks

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darinhouston
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Re: Lordship Salvation (sinfulness)

Post by darinhouston » Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:14 pm

I'd say either or both or someone who just hadn't thought about it that long our just dismisses that part of an evangelical argument as irrelevent or is otherwise ignorant.


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darinhouston
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Lordship Salvation (sinfulness)

Post by darinhouston » Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:23 pm

Doug, that's sort of what I have in mind. Any number of examples or rationales or motives might play out the same question. So, given the hypothetical it's a much more fundamental question and circumstances aren't really relevant to my mind.

It's not a counseling question where subtlety and circumstances and conflicting doctrines might confuse the issue, it's a question of basic doctrine. So assume the most basic or favorable set of facts.

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darinhouston
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Lordship Salvation (sinfulness)

Post by darinhouston » Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:33 pm

I guess the real question is whether acknowledging one's own sinfulness and need for a savior is a fundamental threshold salvation requirement essential to the gospel message, or rather a question of growing in holiness and truth.

If the latter, we might evangelize differently, relying on the spirit to convict of sin following conversion rather than offending and making people immediately so defensive that they might miss the gospel message entirely.

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Singalphile
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Re: Lordship Salvation (sinfulness)

Post by Singalphile » Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:32 am

darinhouston wrote:I think you may miss the point (why does that keep happening to me?). You seem to affirm the inquiry, but then say provided he affirms he has sinned. That sort of begs the question. I'm supposing he doesn't in fact do so (at least not until he matures in the faith and replaced his ignorance with truth).

Also, I don't see how it's vague.
I thought you might have meant that the person wouldn't identify himself as a "sinner" despite recognizing that he occasionally lets his temper get the best of him or something like that, in the same way that most people would admit that they've lied, but most people would not identify themselves as liars.
darinhouston wrote:I guess the real question is whether acknowledging one's own sinfulness and need for a savior is a fundamental threshold salvation requirement essential to the gospel message, or rather a question of growing in holiness and truth.
Based on the previously referenced 1 John 1:8, I would say that a person who seriously thinks/claims that he or she has never done anything wrong is not yet a Christian. But I doubt that you'll meet anyone who would seriously say that, much less someone who also claims to follow and serve Jesus as Lord.

As for whether a person must acknowledge a "need for a savior" ... I can't think of a passage that says that or of any reason why that would be the case.

I think that a person who knows nothing at all about the Bible/God/Jesus could happen across a few snippets from the gospels - say, Matthew 5 (Sermon on Mnt) and John 20:1-18 (resurrection) - and could decide to trust and follow and obey this man Jesus as the Son of God and Lord. Such a person might not know what the resurrection accomplished and he might not understand that he's being "saved" from anything (sin or punishment or whatever), but I think he or she could still be called a Christian.
... that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. John 5:23

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Homer
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Re: Lordship Salvation (sinfulness)

Post by Homer » Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:42 am

Singalphile wrote:
As for whether a person must acknowledge a "need for a savior" ... I can't think of a passage that says that or of any reason why that would be the case.
Paul wrote:

Romans 10:8-13 (NASB)

8. But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, 9. that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10. for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

This seems to indicate mere belief in a set of facts results in salvation, but Paul went on:

11. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” 12. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13. for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”


I believe "believes in Him" means placing one's trust in Him. But trust in what? Trust in Him as our Savior. Thus we call upon Him to save us; there is no question He is both Lord and Savior:

2 Peter 3:18 (NASB)
18. but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

I think it is clear that works are evidentiary, not salvific:

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NASB)

8. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9. not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.


And Paul went on to say:

Ephesians 2:10 (NASB)

10. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Our works are evidence of what we are: new creatures in Christ. We do not make ourselves new creatures by our works.

So I would say a few things. Jesus is without question both Lord and Savior. The person who will not follow Jesus is not a new creation. If we are saved by our works, grace is unnecessary and Jesus died for nothing.

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